There is an odd sense of nostalgia mixed with confusion in this book. The sight of Maleev and Bendis back together again makes one presume that Bendis has finally found his voice again. The one that made us fall in love with his Daredevil run. The one that made us love his Ultimate Spider-Man run. The one where you believed that Bendis would finally take his footing in DC.
And meh, he kinda does something… Bendis has been noted for having a conundrum within the DC universe. His Superman runs have been problematic, and his last hurrah at Marvel wasn’t a sign of a refined creator. In earnest, there is an odd meta-fictional narrative that has been concurrent within this story. In many ways, Leviathan, the character, is reminiscent of Bendis coming into the DC universe. All airs, making a lot of big swings, but everyone kind of hates some of it. And the problem is, we really don’t want to hate him.
Bendis is the reason a lot of comic book lovers got into comics — over the years, his work has been the inspiration for a lot of movies or shows. But his execution of ideas is problematic at best. There is always this lack of understanding of his fanbase, but even more, he doesn’t care.
This book has an interesting cool rhythm of noir; Bendis’ bread and butter. But suddenly there are some off-color remarks that break his rhythm. Truth be told, Bendis is less of a jazz musician pairing notes together sporadically and more of a beat mixer that manages to formulate bipolar music. In truth, this book really does have parts that flow, however, its transitions are always things that take away from the cohesion of the story.
Truth is, Bendis has found the closest thing to success he has in a while by being back with Maleev. His art style consistently accents what Bendis tries to communicate, and the art is always stellar with this duo. Now if only Bendis could help make it more dynamic.